Marketing Trend Insights from the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit

October 25th, 2012
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This post first appeared on the Capitol Communicator blog 10.21.12 and is cross-posted with permission.

Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit Baltimore 2012

Consumers read and interact with content in many different ways and on many different platforms. Marketers need to measure across the various platforms and realize consumers are frequently opting-out of tracking. These trends and many others were discussed at the Oct. 18 Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit in Baltimore, which was attended by more than 300 marketers and communicators.

Engagement rules:
It is the twilight of the fan. If they aren’t engaging, it doesn’t matter if they are your fan, said Leigh George, R2integrated.

George gave the following take-aways:

1. Plan with the end goal in mind;
2. Don’t mistake a fan for a business metric;
3. Go to where the conversations are;
4. Respect the dark social; and,
5. Create content engineered to be consumed and shared.

Be true to the brand message:
Keynote Steve Sommers, Under Armour (UA), discussed brand messaging. As UA discusses new messages, they ask themselves, is the message true? Do consumers care? Does it make sense coming from your brand?  You need to talk with, not talk at consumers said Sommers. UA started a “What is beautiful?” contest to encourage female fans and customers. They discovered the female participants found community and were less interested in the competition.

Dormify lesson:
Karen Zuckerman, HZDG, found sending her daughter to college led to an idea for a new business, Dormify, an online design store for dorm rooms. She outlined their steps for creating a brand and business:

1. Create a brand – find a strong voice needed to connect with the personality;
2. Build a community – find evangelists to generate content;
3. Open an online store;
4. Market and promote it- they were beta testers for a Google catalogue;
5. Figure it out as you go: Since back to school is their Christmas, they created their own holiday – Cyber Monday;
6. Gain earned media – Dormify was often asked to partner with them;
7. Become the niche of our niche – 80% of their designers are in sororities, so they licensed sorority wear.

Consumers pay attention to content relevant to them.
Discussing campaign examples, Fred Jorgenson, Crosby Marketing, detailed how they used a hospital’s website to show emergency wait times. He added the caveat that checking the website is not always the best idea (dial 911, if needed), but it added a new level of interaction, which patients did not expect.

Throughout all the presentations, the speakers encouraged participants to experiment with new platforms and ideas, and always consider the overall business goals.

You can read some of the top tweets from the summit on Storify.

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